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Storage facilities

Residential and commercial bike and car parks can sometimes have storage areas for surplus or unwanted items of furniture, supplies and, in some cases, cleaner’s materials.

Tips

  • Keep storage areas tidy.
  • Use proper lifting techniques when retrieving items.
  • Check that the entrance and exit route is clear of bikes and cars.
  • Appropriately label any domestic chemicals that are stored in bulk.

Potential harm

  • Hit by an object
  • Musculoskeletal disorders
  • Poisoning

Identified hazards and controls

Musculoskeletal injury

Cause

  • Lifting, bending and overreaching.

What workers can do

  • Use correct manual handling techniques to lift items in storage.
  • Use trolleys and lifting equipment.
  • Use appropriate ladders and do not reach above head height to move items.
  • Follow procedures for shelf stacking, such as storing heavier items low where they cannot fall and cause injury.

What employers can do

  • Train all workers who use the storeroom in manual handling techniques.
  • Ensure large or heavy items are stored at low and easily accessible heights to minimise the demands of handling.
  • Place frequently handled items within easy reach.
  • Store smaller, lightweight and infrequently handled items at the higher levels.
  • Ensure it is easy to place items in the storage unit and take them out.
  • Ensure the storage system accommodates the size and shape of the items being stored.
  • Provide fit-for-purpose ladders designed to Australian standards.

Exposure to chemicals

Cause

  • Exposure to substances or inhalation of fumes.

What workers can do

  • Check safety precautions and the storage requirements on the chemical safety data sheet (SDS).
  • Take care when removing chemicals from storage.
  • Use personal protective equipment (PPE) in case of any leakages.

What employers can do

  • Label hazardous chemicals stored in bulk in accordance with the Globally Harmonised Labelling System (GHS).
  • Make safety data sheets (SDS) readily available.
  • Provide training, instruction and supervision for the decanting, storage and handling of chemicals.
  • Conduct regular inspections to check that chemical containers are appropriate for storage and accurately labelled.

Hit by moving object

Cause

  • Storage area door opening into traffic areas.

What workers can do

  • If you need to access and retrieve items from the storage area, check the direction of the door opening and confirm that you have enough space to exit safely without entering the traffic area.

What employers can do

  • If you, as the employer, are not the owner or manager of the car park, you can request that the doors into storage areas open inward instead of out into walkways or traffic.
  • Develop a traffic management plan if large items will enter traffic areas when they are moved out of storage areas.

More information

Guidance

  • See Ergonomic hazards for more information on physical factors in the environment that may cause musculoskeletal injuries and how to eliminate these hazards.

Legislation

Codes

Page last reviewed: 25 April 2021

Comcare (Office Safety tool)
GPO Box 9905, Canberra, ACT 2601
1300 366 979 | www.comcare.gov.au

Date printed 26 Jun 2022

https://www.comcare.gov.au/office-safety-tool/spaces/bike-and-car-parks/storage-facilities